Animals

13 Humboldt Marten Facts You’ll Never Forget

Humboldt marten facts on the rare and cute marten species.
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There are a total of  54 different species of martens. The Humboldt marten is one among the same family. Marten species are found everywhere except in Australia and Antarctica. Humboldt species of marten were considered extinct until they were rediscovered in the year 1996. In the year 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity and Environmental Protection and Information (EPIC) filed for a petition to protect this member of the weasel family. Apart from this the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service too announced that they would provide special protection to such species. After a decade they were given protections as threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, was extremely delighted to know this. They also were recognized by the U.S. forest service.

Humboldt martens are forest carnivores which makes them unique since most species of martens are known to be classified as omnivores like the pine marten another subspecies. In this article, we will take a look at some fun and interesting information on the unique Humboldt martens. If you like this article then check out gopher facts and naked mole-rat facts.

Humboldt Marten

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Squirrels, voles, birds, reptiles, fish, and Insects

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

2-4 babies

How much do they weigh?

1.2-3.4 lb (20-24 in)

How long are they?

0.9-1.5 ft (30-45 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Dark brown

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, deforestation, and wildfire

What is their conservation status?

Endangered

Where you'll find them

Coastal redwood forests, shrub cover, and old growth forests

Locations

North America, California, and, Oregon

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

M. a. humboldtensis

Family

Mustelidae

Genus

Martes

Humboldt Marten Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Humboldt Marten?

The Humboldt marten, popularly known as a member of the weasel family, is a type of marten animal species.

What class of animal does a Humboldt Marten belong to?

The Humboldt marten belongs to the Mammalia class of species and Mustelidae family.

How many Humboldt Martens are there in the world?

Less than 200 species of Humboldt martens exist in California. Throughout the species range, only about 400 remain in isolated areas.

Where does a Humboldt Marten live?

The Humboldt marten is a stealthy cat-sized forest carnivore in the weasel family that lives in forested areas in the woods. They inhabit dense shrub cover, shore pine, areas with serpentine soils and forested areas, coastal forests from Sonoma county, and understory cove of the U.S. States in coastal California and Oregon.

What is a Humboldt Marten's habitat?

The Humboldt marten's habitat is closely associated with closed canopy closure, old forests in the Pacific northwest and the U.S. state. They are known to avoid fragmented areas and forest lands. Dense shrub areas are one of the most consistent habitat features of this species. Given that their populations are at threat, protecting their habitat and reestablishing their population is vital. Their habitat requirements include a large diameter of live trees or snags as well.  

Who do Humboldt Martens live with?

Humboldt Martens are solitary beings and defend their territory if invaded by others. They reside in canopy layers of pine shores as well as coastal dunes. They are seldom seen in groups unless they are mating and with their young ones which is seen in rare instances.

How long does a Humboldt Marten live?

The average lifespan of a Humboldt Marten is 14 .5 years in the wild. This depends on various factors like their diet as well as their environment.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season is from June to August. Most mating occurs in the month of July and the females give birth by March to April. These species reproduce once per year. The mother takes care of the offspring. Given that the Humboldt marten species are so rare, little has been recorded about their reproductive behavior.

What is their conservation status?

They are classified as Endangered species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Humboldt Marten Fun Facts

What do Humboldt Martens look like?

Humboldt marten (Martes americana humboldtensis) have glossy fur that is dark brown in color. They inhabit forest and canopy areas largely and resemble cats in size that are about two feet long. They have a furred long tail and legs. Their body measures 0.9-1.5 ft (30-45 cm) long excluding their tail.  Their ears are triangular and the fur right below the neck is lightly colored which is popularly called a throat patch or the underfur.

Antique animal illustration of marten species. Humboldt marten population is considered to be endangered.
*Please note, this is an image of a marten. If you have an image of a Humboldt marten, let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

They are small and extremely cute to look at however, given that these species are endangered it's rare to spot one of these in the wild.

How do they communicate?

They communicate using multiple channels including vocalizations and even scents. The vocalizations include huffs, chuckles, and screams. Their scent is undetectable by humans. They also communicate via physical contact which happens between mates, and between mothers and their offspring.

How big is a Humboldt Marten?

Humboldt martens are 0.9-1.5 ft (30-45 cm) in length which is five times bigger than the smallest species in the weasel family, the Mustela nivalis also known as the least weasel which is 3.3 ft (1 m).

How fast can a Humboldt Marten run?

Their primary strategy to escape most situations if they sense the proximity of a possible predator is to immediately run. The American Marten is known to be the quickest runners of the group.

How much does a Humboldt Marten weigh?

The Humboldt Marten weighs 1.2-3.4 lb (20-24 in). The Yellow-throated marten is the largest species of the family.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the species are not addressed differently however they differ in size with males being usually larger than females as well as in reproductive functions.

What would you call a baby Humboldt Marten?

Baby Humboldt marten are called kits when they are born and until they become independent to live on their own. They are completely dependent on their parents in the initial few weeks.

What do they eat?

They are opportunistic and voracious eaters and make use of both their hands to get a better grip on their food. They can prey on squirrels, voles, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects, and if they don't find that they also feed on berries in a tree, birds, and also enjoy some unusual food on their menu like chicken legs and strawberry jam! They move into regions where they can find possible prey like the Klamath river which flows through Oregon. Some species of martens are known to swim as well.

Are they dangerous?

Marten populations have declined steeply in the last few decades almost leading them to the point of extinction. They are not innately dangerous unless they are harmed in which case they might run away or attack in rare instances with their claws. They are also known to cause infections like rabies if touched hence it's safe to maintain a distance if you ever spot any one of the species.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are innately wild animals and hence they cannot be kept as pets. They thrive best in their natural environments as compared to being kept as pets. They are awake when we sleep and this would be another problem for any pet owner. It is also illegal in many countries to own them as pets. They reside in old-growth forests as well as canopy and other regions.

Did you know...

Martens are members of the weasel family and are related to minks and otters.

The martens' odors are barely perceptible to humans.

There exists a conservation center named the Northcoast Environmental Center which promotes the understanding of relationships in order to promote protection and conservation of the environment. They have various programs that you could subscribe to and contribute to in your own ways. One such is the Humboldt Marten Mark Linnell U.S. Forest service. They are there to protect the ecosystems of California and Oregon country.

Is the Humboldt Marten endangered?

Yes, they are endangered species, and protecting their habitat would mean reestablishing population and its home range connectivity as well as ensuring the sustainability of their life. They have been majorly impacted by forest habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, wildfire, timber harvest, marijuana farms, and legal trapping. Apart from this, another primary threat to the Humboldt marten is the logging of old-growth and coniferous forests. They are known to travel corridors between suitable habitat patches. Wildfires lead to loss of genetic diversity due to population separation and tiny overall population size.

How did the Humboldt Marten get its name?

Humboldt refers to the name of a river that originates from the Humboldt mountains and flows through Nevada. There was also a scientist named Alexander von Humboldt and lots of things were named after these famous personalities and places, similarly the name Humboldt marten. Marten refers to a semi-arboreal weasel-like mammal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our mongoose interesting facts and puma fun facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Arizona mammal coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is a picture of an American marten, a subspecies related to the same family. If you have an image of a Humboldt marten, let us know!

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